Waited Too Long

Getting the dock out of the water is a project that shouldn’t be put off. For years now, I’ve obeyed this to the letter, but this year something happened. I’ve whined in previous posts about how I postponed the firewood project this summer, and didn’t complete it until September. Perhaps that is the reason for procrastinating. Whatever the reason, the nice days in late October and early November came and went with me occupied with other projects.

The dock is built in three sections, each of which has flotation drums that allow them to float into position, and also do most of the work of holding up the dock and the dockupents (interestingly, my spell checker didn’t know what a dockupent was.) In addition to the floats, there are heavy pipe sleeves bolted into the corners of each section. I slip 1 1/4″ pipes through the sleeves and down to the pond floor. The bottom of each pipe has an auger bolted onto it. Once the pipe touches the pond bottom, I use a pipe wrench to screw the pipe into the mud. Each pipe has holes drilled in it, through which I place heavy pins. When enough weight gets placed on a dock section, it sinks until the pipe pockets hit the pins, and then the dock sits solidly.

In the fall, I need to remove the pins (without dropping them in the water,) unscrew the augers from the pond bottom, pull the pipes all the way out, pin them up, and then take the sections apart. Once apart I can just barely drag them out of the water by hand.

This year I had to pull the pins after they had been frozen into the pond ice. The ice was just thin enough that I couldn’t stand on it, but thick enough that the canoe broke it but didn’t disperse it. So working from the canoe, I unpinned, unscrewed, and repinned each pipe section. The first picture shows 4 of the 6 pipes pinned in place, with 2 to go.

This year the ice didn’t allow me to unpin and float each dock section to shore, so I fired up the dozer, wrapped a chain around the first section, lifted and dragged the whole shebang onto shore. Lots could have gone wrong with this method, but on the whole it seemed to work ok. We’ll know more come spring when it will be time to put it back into the water. If it sinks, I may just leave it there (smile.)

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